Fire of Norea novel excerpt: Visiting Rabbi Goodman

William Blake
William Blake

From “1987”: Norea, 3 years old, travels with Bill to Reno to visit his friend, Rabbi Goodman:

Norea fell back against the arm of the chair and crossed her arms. “I don’t know what you guys are talking about!”

Rachel smiled. “Neither do we, my dear. The question is the point, not the answer.”

Norea rolled off Rachel’s lap and dropped to the floor, where she began singing a song and running her hands through the carpet pile.

Rachel watched her for a few moments and then turned to Bill. “I do know that Time is experienced differently in different cultures, and at different points in our lives. Sure, we all age and our bodies degrade toward death, but we experience time as flowing faster when we have little time to spare and more slowly when we are bored. And when we sit in quiet contemplation, it may dissolve from our experience altogether. If Aleph-Tav is to be interpreted as the Beginning and the End of history, Aleph-Tav is merely a linguistic concept of linear time, a concept that shapes our experience of time as linear, when, in fact, it may not be so. Creation is made of language. We know this because our experiences are shaped by language. Different words may shape our experiences differently. We speak our reality and help to create the worlds we live in, every day. The gift of ruach passes through our lips as we live and breathe, and our words are our participation in the process of Creation. This is why HaShem told Adam to name the animals; because humanity participates in giving the material world its shape. Reality is a combination of physical forms and social meaning. Language provides that social meaning, without which physical forms would have no value. We only know what we can express, and this is why Creation is composed of language.” She smiled. “And if God is here, in some form, throughout all of history, taking on a temporal existence among us, I would not be surprised.”

Bill: “I know what you’re trying to do, and I want to thank you; but, like I said, it’s not all in my control. It doesn’t completely matter what I believe or what I say. I can’t watch over Norea all the time, and there are other people…raising her.”

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